The Fiastra Abbey or 'Abbadia di Fiastra' is located in the province of Macerata in the centre of a large nature reserve. It is a wonderful spot to relax anytime of the year or picnic during the warmer months.
For once the local tourism brochures are not exaggerating when they speak of 'a treasure chest which offers visitors the chance of discoveirng the delicate but inseperable ties which unite men and environment,.a chance to relive a page of the history of man and our country'.
In fact, the silence of the area is only broken by the daily singing of the Cistercian monks or the annual 'Herbaria' fair every May.
The Cistercian monks were given the land for their abbey in 1422 by Guarniero II, Duke of Spoleto. The monks came from Milan and soon got down to work.
They used material from the nearby ruined Roman town of Urbs Salvia which had been destroyed by Alaric and his barbarians.
They did a great job and today visitors can admire an imposing building which is pure Cistercian, typical of the transitional phase between the Romanesque and Gothic.
The Abbey flourished for three centuries eventually incorporating 33 dependent churches and monasteries.
Its history is recorded in a collection of 3194 manuscripts 'Carte Fiastres' now in the State Archive in Rome.
see also Romanic art route in Le Marche